June 02, 2008

The Referenda in Beni and Pando

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The referenda in Beni and Pando (the northern most provinces of Bolivia) have reached the 80% of acceptance for the autonomic statutes. However, absenteeism is notable.

In Beni, absenteeism was 35% and in Pando, over 46%.

These results, added to the Santa Cruz ones, should be read as a political maneuver to mount leverage against the weight of the government for the inevitable negotiations that have to come, if this problem is to be ever solved.

Next up on June 22 is Tarija.

With that, all the departments who voted yes on the autonomic question in the June 2006 referendum will have confirmed their desire to move towards a more autonomous Bolivia.


Mar said...

How much percentage was absentism in Evo Morales 54% election? could it be argued that if the absentism was 40 % or higher neither Pando and Beni nor Evo Morales presidency vote can count? what do you think?

Miguel said...

Actually, it was 16%. It would be difficult to argue that.

The significant thing is that if there is over 30% absenteeism in any given election, that means that a significant chunk of the population is not participating. Since democracy is built on participation, that is a problem.

On the other hand, the absenteeism in these particular referenda was to be expected. The significant thing is, from the people who participated, the overwhelming majority support the autonomic statutes. Were it not a majority (80% plus), the statutes would not be in good stand.

The government still has a significant number of the general population in these 4 provinces supporting autonomy (their version of autonomy).

They just have to sit down and start negotiating. But, that is unacceptable for the government, because negotiating means giving up on some parts of its plan for a "new Bolivia".